Virgin Atlantic offered APD-free Cancun flights in protest of the rising tax
Sir Richard Branson- Virgin Atlantic CEO has lashed out against the UK government's Air Passenger Duty (APD) at a ceremony held in Cancun to celebrate the airline's inaugural flight to Cancun deeming the costly tax a "disgrace". In an effort to highlight the firm's dissatisfaction with the tax, Virgin Atlantic recently offered APD-free Cancun flights to passengers booking their tickets on 14th and 15th July 2012 and has encouraged customers to join a petition against the tax.
Virgin Atlantic made the bold move to pay the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) for any passenger who booked their flights to Cancun on 14th and 15th July 2012, giving lucky travellers booking over the weekend the opportunity to make major savings on APD-free Cancun holidays.
The decision was announced by the airline’s CEO- Sir Richard Branson at a lavish ceremony held in Cancun to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight to Cancun on Saturday 7th July 2012 where Mr Branson took the time to speak out candidly against the UK tax which he deemed a “disgrace”. “A family of four is now being asked to pay £325 in Air Passenger Duty to take a holiday to Cancun. It is a disgrace” stated Mr Branson
The structure of the current APD tax system remains the main source of contention for tourism officials at many popular Caribbean holiday destinations like Barbados, Cancun, Tobago, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, as well as the airlines that service the routes to these destinations from the UK including Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.
Calculated according to the distance between the UK capital and the capital city of the destination, the criticism has been that the APD is inherently biased towards U.S. destinations like Hawaii which attracts a lower APD despite the fact that it is located much further away geographically-speaking. It also favours many other destinations in the U.S. that are geographically further away from the UK, just because the U.S. capital city of Washington is closer to London.
Image by: IDEE_PER_VIAGGIARE, on Flickr
With the cost of the APD steadily increasing, moving up to as much as £324 for a holiday in the Caribbean for a family of four as of April 2012 compared to a mere £40 in 2007, airlines like Virgin Atlantic have criticised the UK government for negatively impacting on their bottom line as well the UK’s financial recovery. Mr Branson noted, “In an Olympic year, it is obscene for the Treasury to be taking £10 million every day from visitors and British holidaymakers alike. This suffocating tax has rocketed way out of control. Years of above-inflation increases have hit passengers hard, are hitting the economy hard and are impeding our recovery from the recession”.
Virgin Atlantic has also urged passengers to protest against the APD via their e-tickets with a short message encouraging all passengers to join the Fair Tax on Flying campaign while UK residents had the option of taking 15 seconds to email their MP highlighting their concerns over the rising cost of the APD via a pre-formatted email template. This is available from their website afairtaxonflying.org.
Only time will tell if the UK government will buckle under the pressure from key spokespeople like Mr Branson, in the meantime passengers can only hope for another promotional offer of an APD-free Cancun holiday from Virgin Atlantic if they hope to book cheaper Cancun flights.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays Browse all
Make your trip to Phuket one to remember at romantic and secluded Rawai beach
- Perfect for families or couples searching for their own slice of paradise
- Complimentary shuttle services to Ya Nui beach, Nai Harn beach and Kata beach
- Free upgrade to Deluxe Pool View
Relax and unwind at this stunning resort without having to dig deep in your pocket
- Luxury and comfortable accommodations with a spectacular views of the crystal blue Arabian Gulf
- A fantastic all-inclusive programme with great entertainment options including kids and teen club
- Enjoy the secluded, glorious location on the beautiful, tranquil and pristine Marjan Island
Treat your family to an unforgettable Arabian adventure and make a splash at the world's most extravagant aquatic hotel!
- Exciting marine and entertainment attractions that the whole family can enjoy
- Free Half Board with a huge range of dining options
- Free access to Aquaventure and Lost Chambers
- Experience the culinary gourmet adventure with over 22 world-class restaurants, lounges and bars including the Michelin star restaurant Nobu
Use up to $2500 resort credit to indulge in spa treatments, golf sessions or a selection of excursions that will make your Cancun holiday truly unforgettable.
- Don't miss out on this incredible offer Kids 17 and under stay, play and eat free
- The Illusionists are appearing at the resort from 22nd December - 3rd Jan & The amazing Backstreet Boys are appearing on the 29th December*
- Awesome resort credits with up to $2500 to spend on spa treatments, dolphin swims, access to the Wet 'N' Wild waterpark and much more
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Take a holiday to the Caribbean resort of Cancun in Mexico. In the magnificent Moon Palace Cancun you will be perfectly...
Situated just minutes from the Bugibba promenade, Sunflower hotel enjoys an excellent location in the popular area of...
Zabeel House Mini by Jumeirah is a playful, pocket friendly hotel high on design and low on complexity. Perfectly...
Experience the height of luxurious comfort at the modern deluxe Pearl Rotana, designed to suit the needs of business,...